Saunton Sands Hotel In Ww2 - a Memory of Saunton.
The hotel was used by the Duke of York's Military School which had been evacuated from Dover - on the cliff tops. Wooden huts were erected along the cliff in front and alongside the hotel to be used as classrooms - each with coke-operated stoves leading to outside chimneys.
All doors were taken off the hotel rooms [to create space?]. Bunk beds were installed. The sands had been used for Commando training and, since we were allowed down, we were able to acquire large stocks of discarded or lost ammunition from cartridges to grenades and 'gelly'!! A small amount of gelegnite and a hot coke-stove chimney makes a satisfactory bang!! Since we were mostly Army 'brats' whose fathers were serving or had been killed we were 'aux-fait' with the use of such as we found. Grenades were a little too noisy, causing school staff to react so were rarely used! Little booby traps -found on the beach. These could have a rifle round fitted and be delicately placed.
White mice could be purchased locally for 1d to 3d - however when monthly inspections were held they were usually put under the floor boards where they bred and became cannibalistic!
Many years later I met a junior manager of the hotel and he told me of the horrendous cost of defumigating and restoring the hotel after the war.
I do think sometimes that we [the old wrinklies] are a little too hard on the present-day youth and forget that we too were not 'perfect'. Our marching to/from Braunton to our own band, playing 'Sons of the Brave' was filmed by Pathe.
A memory shared byon Oct 2nd, 2008.
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